Handcock, William John

Handcock, William John noted for his labors in connection with the French Wesleyan work under the British Conference, was born in the island of Jersey in 1813. He was converted in his nineteenth year, entered the ministry in 1838, and for five years labored in the south of France. His first circuit extended from the Alps to the Mediterranean. In 1841 he was made superintendent of the work in the Upper Alps, and his labors in those dreary regions were the most fatiguing and self-denying, and contributed to the shortening of his days. The eighteen years following 1849 were spent in the French circuits in the Channel Islands. Besides pastoral work he did much in the educational and literary line. The Wesleyan day-schools were established through his efforts, and for several years he edited the French Methodist Magazine, a periodical of large circulation and influence. In conjunction with one of his brethren, he prepared the new French Hymn-Book, completed in 1867. Failing health compelled him to seek a change of climate, and the same year he went to Birmingham. In 1868 he was appointed to the Uxbridge and Rickmansworth circuits, and died at the latter place, March 25, 1870. Handcock was studious, pious, and of unassuming manners, evangelical as a preacher, and conscientious in the discharge of his duties. He wrote, Sommaire des Lois Organiques et Regles de Discipline des Eglises Methodistes d'Angleterre (Guernsey, 1858, 18mo), and an Exposition of the First Epistle of St. John (Lond. 1861, 8vo). His biographer, in the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine (May, 1876, art. 1) (T.J. McCartney), characterized the latter work as learned and original. See also Minutes of the British Conference, 1870, page 29.

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